Nekter Juice Bar’s Vice President of Franchise Operations predicts the biggest change coming to franchising.
1851: What do you see as the biggest change that is going to impact the franchise industry going forward?
Chris Turpin, Vice President of Franchise Operations for Nekter Juice Bar: The biggest change coming to franchising will be the changing demographics of the franchisee, and what they demand of the franchisor. At Nekter Juice Bar, we have seen a shift in recent years to younger prospective franchisees under the age of 35. The cookie-cutter model doesn’t appeal to them as strongly as individuality does. They tend to demand more from the industry whether it’s in the form of technology or the freedom to express their vision of the brand to resonate among their guests in their local communities. While we want to retain a strong and consistent brand identity, we also recognize that some franchisees, we need to allow a certain level of individual expression and engagement.
1851: What do you do to help your brand stand out from the competition?
Turpin: Nekter Juice Bar is a pioneer in the juice bar industry. Nekter has transformed the juice bar experience and we have worked to begin transforming the franchise experience as well. Since taking the reins of Nekter’s franchise program the brand focus has shifted to franchisee profitability and developing a system that allows our partners room to grow. We work diligently with each of our partners to determine what their long terms goals are and how Nekter fits that model.
1851: How did you get in the role you’re in now?
Turpin: I have been fortunate enough to work for some amazing people, who were willing to allow me to explore a wide range of disciplines and departments within the company. From supply chain and development to legal and accounting, I have had the opportunity to ask questions and interact with departments that were outside my core competencies. A mentor once told me, “Focus on making yourself invaluable to the organization and the rest will follow.” Those words have stuck with me as I have grown and helped Nekter grow.
1851: What advice would you give to other young up-and-comers?
Turpin: Work for someone who challenges you on a continual basis and pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Becoming comfortable in your role means it’s time for a new challenge. Having a mentor that enjoys moving the goal posts ensures that you won’t become stagnant. Learn from other functional areas of the organization, and try to stay outside of your bubble even if it’s comfortable in there.
1851: What advice would you give to someone deciding to own a franchise?
Turpin: Know your strengths. The largest hurdle for any new franchisee is figuring out what you don’t know. Determining your areas of strength and weakness are integral pieces to success. For example, if you hate bookkeeping, hire a great accountant and learn from them. Also, understanding that you won’t be an expert at everything on day one and that you will need some help along your path to success, will make the franchise experience much more enjoyable.